, , , , , , , , ,

So I find myself in the absurd position today of being perhaps the only happy person in all of Happy Valley … she said as she happily munched on the chocolate from a giant Hersheys Bar … my Happy Holly activity of the day.

Nothing like a good chocolate bar fresh from the freezer, a glass of cold milk and a glance at todays headlines on the internet here, don’t you think?

I love how this project has taken my perspective and turned it around. To looking for the positive in everything. The humor. The happiness.

The headlines?

When up popped a “Breaking News Live” bulletin for a news conference about the latest scandal. And of course I had to tune in.

For those uninitiated of you from nowhere near here … or those of you who have taken a vow of isolation from the news … there has been a scandal around here recently.

Penn State.  Jerry Sandusky.  Child Abuse. Joe Paterno. Statues. Reports.


Big time Sanctions.

And so using my newfound Happy Holly Project skills, I set about seeing the positive in all of this.

First, of course, is the fact that the picture which I took last week with the Joe Paterno statue is now a classic … a collector’s item … a … OK, so it’s just one of a hundred gazillion pictures of people at the statue, but still … that’s positive, right?

And they removed the statue. So there is no focal point for all the anger and frustration. And it will help healing for the victims, they say. That’s positive … right?

And Jerry Sandusky is sitting in a jail cell, for the foreseeable future … and that is a very positive thing.

And then I began to listen to the news conference.

Fines of $60 Million. Well that seems only fair … and surely some of that will go to the victims, right? Right?

Yes, here. I see it. “The money must be paid into an endowment for external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims and may not be used to fund such programs at Penn State.”

So that’s positive because it should go to preventing child sexual abuse and assisting victims … and you surely wouldn’t want to fund such programs at Penn State because they never had a problem with … hey, wait a minute …

OK, then. What else?

The Big Ten announced that Penn State would not be allowed to share in the conference’s bowl revenue during the NCAA’s postseason ban, an estimated loss of about $13 million.

Well, they will just have to raise the tuition to make up the shortfall, and that’s positive, because who doesn’t like a good tuition hike … um … right? …

Penn State has to sit out the postseason for four years … well, um, that will keep people from getting excessively drunk and partying that day … for four years … that’s positive, right?

Okay, I’m still feeling … um … happy … positive.

What? There’s more?

The NCAA has capped Penn State scholarships at 20 below the normal limit for four years and placed football on five years’ probation … and that punishes the men who go to Penn State for an excellent education and want to use their football skills to help themselves … and that’s positive because … uh … that’s positive?

Oh yeah, that’s positive because they can transfer to another school that has a less qualified scholastic program and … no wait … that’s not positive. Okay, what else?

Positive, Holly, Positive.

They furthermore took away 14 years of coach Joe Paterno’s victories and that’s positive because he didn’t really win all those games … didn’t inspire his players … didn’t encourage academic excellence … didn’t support them through … oh no … wait … he did win those games … I distinctly remember cheering at some of those games, and he did win them.


We’re going to pretend he didn’t win all those games? … Oh … well that’s certainly positive. Although I can’t figure out exactly why … but I’m sure it is.

So since Jerry Sandusky is a criminal from acts committed while a Penn State coach before 1999 … and Joe Paterno used poor judgement some years back, there will be sanctions that will punish all the students now and for years to come.

And all the local businesses that survive based on the influx of fans to the yearly football games … because they need to be punished too …

But I am suddenly at a loss to see how this is positive. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough.

As the AP said … No death penalty. More like slow death … and that is not a positive thing.